Probing the immune responses to nanoparticles across environmental species. A perspective of the EU Horizon 2020 project PANDORA
Understanding how engineered nanomaterials affect immune responses of living organisms requires a strong collaborative effort between immunologists, toxicologists, ecologists, physiologists, inorganic chemists, nanomaterial scientists and experts in law and risk management. This perspective aims to provide a new viewpoint on the interaction between engineered nanomaterials and the immune defensive systems across living species, gained within the EU Horizon 2020 project PANDORA. We consider the effects of nanoparticle exposure on immune functions in plants, marine and terrestrial invertebrates and their relation to the current state of knowledge for vertebrates (in particular humans). These studies can shed light on the broader perspective of defensive and homeostatic mechanisms (immunity, inflammation, stress responses, microbiota, stem cell differentiation) suggesting ways to: i) perform a comparative analysis of the nanoparticle impact on immunity across model organisms; ii) inspire best practices in experimental methodologies for nanosafety/nanotoxicity studies; iii) regroup and harmonise fragmented research activities; iv) improve knowledge transfer strategies and nano-security; v) propose innovative tools and realistic solutions, thereby helping in identifying future research needs and tackling their challenges.